Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub
[graphic][merged small]

undetermined natural feature of the coun a passage of about three hundred miles, try. These failures were caused by the following the windings, early in August Kalahari desert, the Sahara of the south, they joyfully beheld the oft-reported and which it was found impossible to cross, long-mysterious expanse, brilliantly reowing to the want of water ; but the happy Aecting from its surface the bright sky of thought occurred to Dr. Livingston, that, Africa. by skirting the terrible wilderness on the The lake is known locally by a variety eastern side, instead of attempting the of names, as Inghàbé, the “ giraffe,” Noka direct passage, he might solve the geo ea Mokorion," lake of boats,” and Ngami, graphical problem by a circuitous route, “ the waters,” the last of which has been and remove the vail from a fertile and adopted by geographers. Though not so populous region, if an extensive fresh- large as at first represented, it is a fine water expanse really existed. Accord- sheet of water, perhaps seventy miles in ingly, accompanied by Messrs. Murray and circuit, considerably contracted in the midOswell, gentlemen travelers, with wagons, dle, so as to resemble, according to some bullocks, and a retinue of native attend- early native descriptions, the shape of a ants, he started on the expedition.

pair of spectacles. The discovery of this The party left Kolobeng on the 1st of new field for the missionary, the geogJune, 1849. “I do not wish," wrote the rapher, the naturalist, and the trader, exexplorer, “ to convey hopes of speedily ef- cited no little interest in the civilized fecting any great work through my own world; and appropriately the Royal Geointrumentality ; but I hope to be permitted graphical Society of London awarded to to labor, as long as I live, beyond the line Dr. Livingston one half of the royal preof other men's things, and plant the seed mium for the year, in the shape of a of the Gospel where others have not chronometer watch. Fain would he have planted, though every excursion for that gone further north, especially on learning purpose will involve separation from my that he was only about ten days' journey family for periods of four or five months." from Sebitoané, chief of the Makololo, of This was a noble aspiration, and nobly has whom he had previously heard as anxious its sincerity been illustrated, the separation to be brought in direct communication from home, wife, children, and countrymen with the white men. But as the means having been undergone for years, instead of advancing at that time were wanting, of months. For three hundred miles the the party retraced their steps to Kolobeng. route lay through a dreary and sterile re In 1851, having carefully prepared for gion, where the principal vegetation con another effort, Dr. Livingston, again acsisted of " wait-a-bit” thorns, and no wa companied by his family, and also by Mr. ter could be obtained for successive days, Oswell, who had been in the interval to causing intense distress to the travelers the Cape, started from Kolobeng. After and their cattle. After proceeding in a crossing the Zouga, a northerly course led northerly direction for upward of a month, them to some great superficial depressions, they emerged from this arid waste, and or “salt-pans," coated with saline incrusfound themselves, on the 4th of July, on tations, and containing springs of brackish the banks of a fine and stately river, the water. Bending round to the northwest, Zouga, flowing to the eastward. A broad a well-wooded limestone region was travbelt of reeds and rushes fringed the stream, ersed, then a dismal swamp, and finally, with timber and fruit-trees, among which having struck on the large river Chobe, the enormous baobob, from sixty to seventy its channel conducted the travelers to Linfeet round the stem, reared its head above yanti, the capital of the Makololo, and the highest giant of the forest, while beauti- residence of Sebitaoné. The chief was ful parasitical plants and creepers hung in manifestly delighted at the visit. Being festoons among the branches. Here and a Bechuana from the south, little difficulty there limestone rocks formed the margin, was experienced in communicating with rendering the scenery charming, and re him. viving in the mind of the Scotchman the The country which had now been enremembrance of his native Clyde. Learn- tered, presented a totally different aspect ing from inhabitants on its borders that to any that had yet been traversed. It the river issued from a distant lake, the was a vast level, rich and fertile, interadventurers ascended its course, and, after sected with numberless streams, and hence

VOL. XI.-16

called, in the language of the natives, leader and one lad. He was obliged, “rivers upon rivers.” The Chobe was therefore, to proceed in advance with this found to flow into a main channel to the lad, in order to obtain help to bring along eastward—a great trunk river—which, as the invalids and the wagon. Embarking afterward traced, finds its way, under va in the pontoon on the inundation, they rious names, the Leambye, Sechcke, and passed over miles of flooded lands, in search Zambesi, to the Mozambique Channel and of the Chobe, and at last discovered it the Indian Ocean. On first visiting its tumbling along, after having climbed a high banks, at the end of a remarkably dry sea- tree to look out. But to reach the stream son, it presented a very large volume of required no ordinary toil and endurance. water, about a quarter of a mile in breadth ; A broad chevaux-de-frise presented itself, and though the banks were from fifteen to of Nature's workmanship, consisting of tall twenty feet high, evidence appeared of an papyrus reeds, and flags, growing out of annual overflow to the distance of fifteen the water, the whole interlaced with a conmiles from them. “When the wind blows," volvulus kind of creeper. Having broke says Dr. Livingston, “ waves of consider- through this barrier with great labor, dragable size rise on its surface, and accidents ging the pontoon after them, a“ horrid sort frequently occur in crossing. It was quite of grass” was encountered, six feet high, calm when I went over in the morning; with serrated edges, which cut the hands but as the time for taking an altitude of cruelly, and made havoc with strong molethe sun approached, the waves were run skin garments. Three days and nights ning so high that it was only by great were spent, constantly wet up to the middle, persuasion I could induce the people to in getting through this miserable jungle. paddle me back again.” But though a After launching on the river, it soon carried fine region, with a large population of them down to a village of the Makololo, blacks, it was evidently unsuitable for the to whom it seemed as if the white man permanent residence of Europeans, owing had fallen from the clouds, so unapproachto the periodical inundations, and conse able did they consider themselves from quently malarious climate. Impressed the state of the streams; and yet he had with this conviction, yet bent upon bring come as if “riding on a hippopotamus," ing the newly-discovered races within the alluding to the pontoon. The necessary pale of Christian effort, the intrepid mis- force was speedily dispatched to bring sionary returned with his companions to along the party left behind. Kolobeng, and determined upon sending Often as the profusion of animal life had his wife and children to England, in order been remarked by the traveler, he was to devote himself to a more extensive perfectly astonished at the herds of large scheme of exploration for the benefit of game in this region; and, never having the tribes in the far interior.

heard the sound of a rifle, they were perWith a left arm that wanted" mending," fectly indifferent to the presence of man. having been broken in a struggle with a Cowper's lines were remembered, and felt lion which he had shot, and with an affec to present a life-like picture : tion of the throat that required skillful “ The beasts that roam over the plain, treatment, Dr. Livingston accompanied his My form with indifference see; family to Cape Town, took leave of them, They are so unacquainted with man, and returned northward.

Their tameness is shocking to me." Attended only by natives, he started One evening eighty buffaloes, the most from Kuruman, taking with him, in a bul- dangerous of all African quadrupeds when lock waggon, a pontoon boat brought from under irritation, slowly defiled before the the Cape. Before the close of the year camp fire, and the lion's roar was heard in 1852 he had regained his former position, close proximity. At such times, when but reached it through almost insuperable those occupations which divert the mind difficulties. The whole face of external were over for the day, the wanderer must nature was changed. On his last visit the have felt powerfully the isolation of his waters were at their lowest level. Now position, cut off completely from the comthe streams were at the highest point, and munion of the civilized world, all kindred the country was deluged. In addition to spirits hundreds of miles away, alone in this difficulty, sudden illness disabled the the midst of savages. Though his comwhole party, with the exception of the panions were most eager to serve him, yet,

[graphic][merged small]

as barbarians, they could not understand | They offered no food, except at an enora civilized and Christian man, and inad mous price ; they allowed no passage vertently tried his patience to the utmost through their villages without exacting a by the savagery of their revels and usages. heavy fine ; they availed themselves of the But a conviction of being in the path of meanest pretext to extort a present, and duty, which never wavered for a moment, swords and spears were brandished to enbrought freshly to remembrance, in the time force submission to their rapacity. But of need, the consoling thought : “ Yet I am for a firm yet calm bearing, and the care not alone ; for the Father is with me.” of Providence, the traveler would undoubt

From this preliminary examination of edly have lost his life. As it was, he had the river and the country to the northward, to part with everything, and was in exDr. Livingston returned to Linyanti, and, treme distress, when happily a far-inland having sent back the party from Kuruman Portuguese colonist was met with, by whose to that station, he set out again toward the assistance he reached Cassange. From north, on the 10th of November, accom this point all his wants were liberally suppanied by twenty-seven native attendants. plied by the colonial authorities, and the

Soon after entering upon this new direc- party entered Loando in May, 1854, where tion, the sorest troubles and greatest Mr. Gabriel, her majesty's arbitrator—the dangers of the pilgrimage were experi- only Englishman in the place—hospitably enced. On approaching the bounds of accommodated Dr. Livingston. “I shall civilization, the extremes of barbarism never forget,” says he, “the delicious were encountered; for the native tribes, pleasure of lying down on his bed, after depraved by the slave trade, received the sleeping six months on the ground.” The advancing party as a spoil and a prey. I astonishment of his twenty-seven faithful

attendants on beholding the city, the sea, province, by correcting its maps in various the cruisers in the harbor, and the novel particulars, fixing the latitude and longiobjects of civilized life, may readily be tude of important places, while casting an imagined. They were duly reported on observant eye upon the pursuits and conreturning to their countrymen in the in- dition of the people, chiefly blacks and halfterior, and have since formed the topic of breeds. many a tale to wondering groups on the Upon encountering the tribes beyond the banks of their native rivers. “Our fa- Portuguese frontier, demoralized by conthers,” said they, “ told us that the world | tact with them, but independent of their has no end. But they were wrong; for, control, the same inhospitable treatment as we traveled on, all at once we came to was experienced as on the previous occathe world's end, and the world said to us, sion; and it must have been a sore trial • I'm done—there's no more of me—there's to the temper to deal with them, making nothing but sea.'

the most extortionate demands as the price With the liveliest satisfaction, the news of food, or for the means of crossing a of the traveler's emergence from the terra stream, or for the simple permission to incognita of Africa was received in En- pass on, and get out of their abominable gland; and, in honor of this arduous service, neighborhood. Sorrowfully also must the the University of Glasgow conferred upon European have seen his native attendants the explorer the degree of LL.D. stripped of the fruit of their hard-won

Though naturally anxious to see his earnings at Loanda to satisfy the rapacity native land and rejoin his family, Dr. Liv- of the miscreants. Yet they made the ingston felt bound to decline the favorable sacrifices without a murmur; and subseopportunity of doing so from the Portu- quently, in all reports respecting the exguese 'port, subordinating private feeling pedition, public and private, uniformly exto the demands of public duty. He had pressed themselves in the kindest terms to conduct back to their far-off homes the toward their leader. All in hospitality twenty-seven confiding natives who had ceased upon entering the country of the attended his footsteps; and the prime ob- unsophisticated African. The party now ject of his expedition—that of discovering found themselves at home, were received a practicable route for Christianity and with enthusiasm in the villages through commerce between the interior and the whieh they passed, and wanted for nothing coast, with a salubrious district for a mis- the people had to give. From Nariel, in sion station—had not been effected. He August, a brief letter to Mr. Gabriel at resolved, therefore, to retrace his course Loando, forwarded by a native trader, into Linyanti, and follow from thence the formed him : “My men are all in high channel of the Zambesi to Quilimane, one spirits, and quite prepared for another trip, of the Portuguese ports on the opposite or although, as we have had to sell almost eastern side of Africa. “I return,” wrote everything for food, they have but little to he, “because I feel that the work to which show after their long absence from home.": I set myself is only half accomplished. Having constructed canoes, they embarked The way out to the eastern coast may be upon the Leambye, and, with a powerful less difficult than I have found that to the current in their favor, were rapidly carried west. If I succeed, we shall at least have down toward Linyanti, where they arrived a choice. I intend, God helping me, to at the close of the following month. Sego down the Zambesi or Leambye to Quili- keletu, the chief, received them with every mane.” This was sketching for himself demonstration of delight; and the Makololo a journey of more than two thousand miles, welcomed their traveled countrymen as completely across the continent, from the the wise men of the nation. They had Atlantic to the Indian Ocean.

visited the land of the Wasunga, or wise Toward the close of the year 1854, our men, the term applied throughout Southern intrepid traveler girded himself for his Africa in one form or another to the whites; great undertaking, and bade farewell to the and the tale of their adventure has since, waters of the Atlantic. He was aided in doubtless, formed the staple of many a every possible way by the authorities of long yarn" on the banks of their rivers. Angola, the merchants of the capital, and Refreshed by a few weeks' halt, and the inhabitants of the colony; and returned duly prepared for the prosecution of his the favor, while journeying through the journey, Dr. Livingston started for the

« VorigeDoorgaan »